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The “Job Seeker Visa”

26. February 2024

The “Job Seeker Visa"

The “Job Seeker Visa”  is a special visa D, which allows very highly qualified persons, who do not yet have a job offer, to come to Austria for six months and personally look for employment in the country (e.g., to take part in job interviews with Austrian companies).   

“Very highly qualified” persons are considered to be individuals who reach the necessary number of points in the Austrian points system (= a minimum of 70 points) in order to receive the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers (Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte für Besonders Hochqualifizierte).   

The extended Residence Permit - Student (Aufenthaltsbewilligung Student) for the purpose of searching for work is sometimes falsely designated as the a “Job Seeker Visa” as well. This blog article does not discuss the extended Residence Permit - Student for the purpose of looking for a job. 

How you apply for the “Job Seeker Visa”

You can apply for the “Job Seeker Visa” at the responsible Austrian representative authority (embassy/consulate) in your country of residence.  

In addition to the regular visa application documents, please enclose documents together with your application which prove  that you reach the required minimum amount of points to receive the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers (e.g., university diploma, proof of professional experience, language certificates).  

These documents are subsequently sent for review to the Austrian Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice, in short: AMS) in Austria. If this assessment by the AMS is positive, and you fulfil the other prerequisites for a visa, the responsible representative authority (embassy/visa)  “Job Seeker Visa” to you.  

This is what to consider when looking for employment with the “Job Seeker Visa”:

It is important that your future employment in Austria corresponds to your level of qualification and that you are paid by your employer in accordance with your qualifications. There is no legally stipulated minimum salary for the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers. However, your employer is required to pay you a salary according to the applicable collective agreement, taking into the account the correct employment classification and potential overpayment which is customary in the company.  

Are you in Austria with a “Job Seeker Visa” and have received a job offer?

Congratulations on your job offer!  

You need to take the following steps so that you can actually begin to work:  

Important: The “Job Seeker Visa” in itself does not allow you to pursue gainful employment in Austria! 

First of all, you or your employer need to submit an application for a Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers at the responsible Immigration Authority.

Which branch of the Immigration Authority is responsible for processing your application depends on your place of residence in Austria. 

We recommend that you submit your qualification documents, which were already reviewed by AMS for your “Job Seeker Visa” once again. 


In addition to these documents, you or your employer should prepare the following documents for your application for the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers:  

  • Application form 

  • Passport 

  • Passport photo fulfilling EU criteria (not older than six months) 

  • Employer’s Declaration (Arbeitgebererklärung

  • Job description, detailed in detail (either as a separate document or included in the Employer’s Declaration) 

  • Information on your employment classification pursuant to the applicable collective agreement (e.g., details may be included in the Employer’s Declaration or by submitting the employment work contract) 

  • Police Clearance Certificate (Strafregisterbescheinigung; may not be older than three months) 

  • Fees: € 160 



  • The validity of your Red-White-Red – Card depends on the duration of your job employment relationship as well as on your passport's validity. If both are valid for at least two years, your Red-White-Red – Card is also valid for a period of two years. 

  • Depending on the country in which you live, you will have to present one or more Police Clearance Certificates. Here you can check which Police Clearance Certificates you will have to obtain. 

  • The Police Clearance Certificate must be specially legalised so that it will be officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the document was issued. Here you can check which type of legalisation (Verifizierung) is necessary. 

  • If your personal documents were not issued in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator (gerichtlich beeidete Übersetzerin/ beeideter Übersetzer). 

In principle, you are allowed to submit the application yourself. However, please note that this can only be done personally, after making an appointment in advance at the responsible Immigration Authority. 

If you want that your family i.e., your civil partner (eingetragene Partnerin/eingetragener Partner), spouse or children under the age of 18 relocates to Austria together with you,

we recommend that your employer submits the application for the Red-White-Red – Card. In this way, he can also directly submit your family’s applications  for the Red-White-Red – Card Plus (Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte pPlus)  directly to the Immigration Authority at the same time. Good to know: Your employer can submit the application via e-mail.  

If your job offer corresponds to the requirements, the application is normally processed relatively quickly (and with positive results). This is due to the fact that the AMS already reviewed your qualification documents within the context of issuing the “Job Seeker Visa”. The legally stipulated deadline for processing the application is up to eight weeks after the application has been filed. This means, the public authorities involved (Immigration Authority and AMS) can take this long to process your application.  

You are only permitted to start working in Austria when you have personally picked up your Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers from the Immigration Authority. 

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